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Partnership on AI Names Rebecca Finlay as CEO

SAN FRANCISCO — Partnership on AI (PAI), a non-profit partnership of academic, civil society, industry, and media organizations, announced on Tuesday that Rebecca Finlay will become the organization’s CEO, following an extensive international search. Finlay had been serving as the organization’s Acting Executive Director since February 2021 and has been on the PAI board since early 2020.

Most recently, Finlay served as Vice President of Engagement and Public Policy at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). In this role, she gained a reputation as a trusted leader in building communities to transform research insights into actionable impact. She founded CIFAR’s AI & Society program, led international public policy outreach and government relations, played a central role in facilitating the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion plan, and built successful long-term funding partnerships. Prior to CIFAR, Finlay held executive leadership roles in the non-profit and private sectors. In recognition for her contributions in science policy and innovation, Rebecca was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The Chair of PAI’s Board of Directors and Microsoft Chief Scientific Officer Eric Horvitz said:

“The Board and I are thrilled that Rebecca Finlay has accepted the position of CEO. Her energy and experience with leading strategic efforts, catalyzing collaborations, and delivering solutions will be instrumental in helping the organization to achieve its goals. The Partnership on AI plays a vital and unique role in navigating the complexities, concerns, and opportunities with rising applications of artificial intelligence technologies. Rebecca’s leadership comes at a crucial time as we set our course for the next five years. We’re excited for all that she will bring and accomplish.”

Newly appointed CEO Rebecca Finlay said:

“I am honored to become the Partnership on AI’s new CEO. Through my engagement with the organization over the past two years, I have been fortunate to see firsthand how the Partnership’s unique multistakeholder approach is well equipped to help society grapple with AI and its impact on people. This work becomes more crucial by the day. I’m grateful to take this work forward with our extraordinary and diverse community of partners.”

The PAI Board of Directors is made up of leaders from industry, civil society, academia, and philanthropy. Partnership on AI’s blog post sharing this news is linked here.


Partnership on AI (PAI) is a non-profit partnership of academic, civil society, industry, and media organizations creating solutions so that AI advances positive outcomes for people and society. The Partnership on AI studies and formulates sociotechnical approaches to the responsible development of AI technologies to advance the public’s understanding of AI and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society. Today, PAI convenes nearly 100 partner organizations from around the world to be a uniting force for the responsible development and fielding of AI technologies.

October 27, 2021
Contact: Adam Bink / 716-725-4569 / abink@spitfirestrategies.com